Friday, December 27, 2013

Forever a Princess

This weekend ABC Family is showing only princess movies.  I only know this because my dad informed me.  He was extremely excited to tell me and I think he secretly wants me to come home and watch some of the marathon with him, which I might.  He found out about this magical event while he was watching Prancer, which he admittedly cries every time he watches it. 

My dad only has daughters, so this isn't surprising behavior, I know.  But he isn't a feminine dad... he's a guys' guy.  His entire Saturdays and Sundays are almost completely devoted to football, and this year many Fridays were too.  He wrestled and played football in high school, and I have been told by ex-boyfriends that he's a pretty awesome golfer (he even watches those boring tournaments on tv).  He can fix anything, create anything, lift anything AND he can tell you the plot of Bring it On: All or Nothing and all of the Cutting Edge movies.  

Many people tell my sister and I that we are never going to be able to find a man because of our dad.  They think that because he is so great, we are functioning with a handicap in the dating world.  I think that this is a horrible perspective on the situation.  We are lucky that we are able to have high standards and that we know through example that such a person can exist.  

My dad gave us each a charm for our Pandora bracelets for Christmas.  It says, "Forever a Princess".  It is one of my favorite gifts I received and a reminder that no matter what, I am a princess, even if some days he's the only one who knows it.  It's also a nice little reminder that Prince Charming is worth waiting for and my sister and I aren't too picky, but instead both deserve someone as wonderful as our dad.  

Anyone who tells someone that they're too picky is just stupid.  Forever a princess... mwah!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Making Merry

During the obligatory "I'm thankful for..." around the table on Thanksgiving this year, I shared that I was thankful for chocolate (and I meant it!).  My sister, immediately after I expressed thanks for a consumable, shared that she is thankful for people who help other people.  Tears filled her eyes, and it was a moment of raw emotion.  She meant it.  

My sister and I both have encounters with those less fortunate than ourselves through work.  We've both been witness to families and people dealing with homelessness.  This is what led her to her statement. The ability to help each other is what sets us above all other creatures on this planet.

I read A Christmas Carol every holiday season.  It is a reminder of what the season is about.  Dickens wanted his readers to take this time of year and think of each other as fellow passengers to the grave, no matter where one may fall on the social ladder.  The holiday season is not about a store running out of the color and size of that sequins skirt you "need", it's not about someone accidentally or purposely cutting in line, it's not about the salesperson who refuses to let you use all seven coupons.  

Instead of focusing on the commercial part, or how you've been slighted, try to think about what you do have.  There are people all around us who instead of fighting for the last neon bubble vest, are worried about where they're going to sleep tonight, or if they're going to be home to spend time with their family on the holiday because they have to work all the time.  

At the beginning of A Christmas Carol, Scrooge can't believe that those who aren't rich make merry at Christmas.  He doesn't think there is reason to make merry, when you don't have money.  Luckily, he sees that there is plenty of reason to make merry at Christmas, no matter how much you do or don't have.  We make merry at Christmas because of the people we love and care about, and because there are people who help other people, and that really makes all the difference.  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

How it feels to be away

Freedom, being away... what does that really mean?  

To me this is when my mind is not blank, but at ease.  
I am thoughtful. I am in the moment. I am reflective.  
This often happens when I am in a plane, train, automobile, or charter bus. 

Something about travelling causes me to reflect on life.  
Therefore I am literally away, and I feel free.  

I have vivid memories of riding on a charter bus through Europe my Junior year of college analyzing every important part of in my life.  The same thing happened after my senior year of high school riding a bus through Spain. The important aspects of life change little, even as many years pass.  

Sometimes it’s on a plane or even in the car on the commute to work... but something about being in motion makes me feel free and being smack dab in the middle of a journey makes me reflective. Possibly, probably, because when you're on a journey you get the gift to live in the moment.  

There's no work, no organizing, no cleaning that is nagging to be done. There's no friend, co-worker, or family member feeling deserving of your valuable time. 

Instead, when you're away, on a journey, you can just be. Be free.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

World of a 20 Something

Welcome to the life of a twenty something... I was trying to clean up my mess of a bedroom last week and had had to take a minute, reflect, and snap a picture when all I had left on top of my dresser was the three items above. During my quick reflection and snapshot, I realized that this picture depicts pretty well the life of a twenty something girly girl like me. 

* On the left is a card I bought for the newly married couple whose fairy tale wedding I was in last weekend. In the middle is the card that my lifelong best friend sent me to ask her to be her Maid of Honor (of course I said "YES!" this will be my first time being the MOH - insert nervous emoji). On the right is the thoughtful gift my roommate of seven years gave her bridesmaids for throwing her bachelorette party. (She even sent one to a friend who couldn't make it because she lives too far away! Most thoughtful bride ever-she really is in more ways than one.)

I am currently living the adage "Always the bridesmaid, never the bride," and I don't say that in a sarcastic bitter way, because let me tell you something... I LOVE being a bridesmaid, and I must admit, it is something at which I am becoming skilled. I've been spending most of my free time attending and planning bridal showers, bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinners, and weddings as of late, and therefore haven't been able to share some of the wonderful events I've been a part of and show of my bridesmaid skills to the blog world. 

Before I get carried away, there are a few characteristics that would probably be classified as traits that are less than desirable in a bridesmaid. I'm going to list those first, because, as I told the police officer who pulled me over the day after a bachelorette party where I lost my driver's license, I like bad news first. 

Negative trait 1: Sometimes I don't pay attention to details... which is good in some situations, but not when dealing with brides who have planned every minute detail of the most important day, thus far, of their life.

Negative trait 2: I procrastinate. I get everything done on time... but I may have to take a sick day to do so.

Let's accentuate the positive now.

1. I have no problem telling other people that the bachelorette party/shower/wedding is not about them to get them to shut their face and not upset the bride. 

"Yes, I do like the dress, maybe if you didn't have fake boobs, it would actually fit you."

"It really doesn't matter if you're hungry right now, it's not about you."

"Yes you probably should have gotten a spray tan, but it's too late now."

"It really doesn't matter what you wear, because no one is going to be looking at you."

And I say it all with a smile on my lips, because I wouldn't want anyone to get upset! 

2. I will wear anything, and I mean anything, that the bride tells me to. (Luckily, my friends all have amazing taste, therefore this hasn't been really tested yet.)

3. I love the whole process of taking pictures. Most people complain about this part of the day, but for some reason I like watching the bride get her picture taken, and I love when I get my moment in the spotlight with her. 

4. I bring enough five hour energy to supply myself and anyone who needs an energy boost. Every party has a pooper, but it's not going to me, or anyone around me! 

5. I will party until the bachelorette/bride&groom can't party any longer, and then after for the benefit of the other guests.

The moral of the story is that I love weddings, I love being a guest; I completely think it's an honor to be invited to be a maid and I relish every minute of it. 

Here are some photos of what I've been up to the past few weeks. 

Bachelorette party in Louisville (the bars are open until 4 a.m.!).

 Brunette Barbie likes to party!  his is in honor of Princess Katie's last picture before she got engaged... And many nights before and after her engagement.  Love her.
Avoiding having too many male reproductive organs, these drink tags were a hit.  I got them at Spencer's Gifts.  I felt like I needed a shower after leaving that place though.  It was worth it.  

Emily's Fairy Tale Wedding 

She had these glasses for everyone in the wedding party to drink out while we were getting ready.  She had them made on Etsy.  I loved them!  

The beautiful Cincinnati skyline the morning after the wedding.  Also the morning after I ate Skyline Chili, a Cincinnati favorite, at two a.m. in a bridesmaid dress, with my dad, and sister (who was wearing yoga pants and slippers).

Until next time... Cheers!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Saying Sayonara to September

I am having a hard time with the fact that September is ending.  I held on to the last few days with all my might and even sunbathed at my parents' pool on Friday.  Because I have self diagnosed Seasonal Depression, the end of September means fall is coming, which means winter isn't far behind, and then I'm going to be hibernating and grumpy and planning trips to tropical places.  

Therefore, when I was at the mall today getting a few specialty items for one of my-favorite-people-in-the-world's bachelorette party, I let the smells of Bath and Body Works lure me in.  I cope with the end of summer by embracing all things apple and pumpkin.  So no, I didn't need to spend $20 on a candle, but it's Monday, and tomorrow is October, and sometimes retail therapy is a Pumpkin Pecan Waffle three wick candle from Bath and Body Works.  (Now, I need to create a recipe inspired by the candle, because it smells YUM!)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Marriage Proposal

I got my first ever marriage proposal and didn’t even know it until days later.

I am the girl, who when out of the country, exclaims, “I just love not being tied to my cell phone!”  I only say that because there’s no way to have access to it unless I pay ridiculous fees to use it and I'd rather spend my dollars and cents on fruity drinks with fruit as garnish.  To fellow travelers and new vacation friends I seem like I am accepting the situation as it is and making the most of it.  I’m sure my fellow travelers get annoyed with my Zen declarations, and I’m pretty sure one felt pretty happy when she informed me that my sister had won an Emmy and I didn’t even know it b/c I wasn’t “tied” to my cell phone.  

I am also the girl, who as soon as the tires on the plane touch the runway, turns on her cell phone.  I had nine voice messages when I turned on my phone the second I landed in Houston on my way back from Cabo.  I’m not that popular, I just hate listening to voice messages and those who know and love me know not to leave them and instead realize that I will call them back... eventually.  Therefore, there was a back up of old voice messages and three new ones.  Two were from the secretary of the establishment of which I am proud to be an employee... and one was from a number that I do not have saved in my cell phone.  

I know the number though.  It’s one of those numbers that you don’t save for a reason; you know the type.  It was once saved with a first and last name.  I’m going to call him Shakespeare for a few reasons, one of which is that he is a master of insults.  Once I realized I didn’t want to date Shakespeare and regretted texting him when I was tipsy, I removed him from my phone.  Don’t judge, I know you have had this experience.

I didn’t rush to listen to my voice messages because, let’s get serious, who cares what was going on at work while in Cabo, and I also didn’t care what nasty insult Shakespeare had come up with this time.  I attended to more important business... texts, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.  Duh.  

When our next flight was delayed, I decided to give the voicemail a listen to entertain both my travel soulmate and myself.  I was absolutely shocked to hear Shakespeare admit that he loved me (no, he nor I had ever said that to each other in the past, nor do I believe it to be true) and that he wanted to marry me.  His closing line was, “So call me back when you get this, and I’ll pick you up and we can get married.”

Since then, I have enjoyed sharing this voice message with several friends, we all get a kick out of it, and I even managed to text Shakespeare to tease him about it.  Apparently he’s turned over a new leaf and expects me to change my mind about him.  As if. 

Tonight, I was driving through a part of town that I don’t usually drive through, but the highway was a parking lot, so I took the back roads.  I happened to drive past the bar where I met Shakespeare during happy hour two falls ago.  

I shit you not, he was walking in the front door.  

Did I turn onto the street and frantically search for a spot on to park?  Then I could accept the marriage proposal in the spot we met and we would live happily ever after!


Because while that would definitely make for a fabulous story for a best man to tell during a wedding toast, there’s a reason we delete those names from our phones, and even if we sometimes answer their texts in a time of weakness, we never should forget why they were deleted in the first place.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

S & S Birthday Loot


A                     B                    C

Everything about my birth-week was absolutely fabulous.  I felt completely adored, I was able to see most of the people who make my life worth living, and I was spoiled with clothes, accessories, and alcohol (I finally met Mr. Fireball).  

I had to share what this shoe lover gets for birthday gifts with my fellow fashionistas.  

Exhibit A:  Is there anything cuter to hold my iphone while it is sitting on my desk at work?  I believe my roomie got Exhibit A from Francesca's.  She doesn't recommend I keep it on my desk at work because she fears it lacks a sense of professionalism.  But it will make me happy, and that is truly what matters in my office with no windows. 

Exhibit B:  Bridesmaid shoes can be the worst part of being in a wedding, especially if the bride forces a specific shoe (even worse: remember those silk shoes that were dyed to match the dresses?).  Luckily, the brides in my life aren't bridezillas and don't force shoes on the bridesmaids.  After all, no one is looking at the bridesmaids much at all, most wedding guests are completely hypnotized by the bride, as they should be.  If by chance someone is spying on the bridesmaids (let's say a single groomsman?) they will not, unless they're gay, be looking at our shoes.  I digress... the point is, my cousin is getting married in less than a month.  She specified silver, and I found these gorgeous peep-toe slingbacks from Guess! (And then grandma purchased them.)

Exhibit C:  Can you say accent shoe for a night on the town?  My mom can!  She rocks my socks.  (They're coral if you can't tell... BCBG and I hope to get to wear them before fall takes over!)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Birth Week

It is my birth week.  Like all who have grown up spoiled by family and friends, this is one of my favorite times of the year.   My people make me feel more like a princess than I do naturally the rest of the year.  

Tonight, after I informed my Best that I had a night to myself, she jokingly asked if I was going to spend my night reflecting.  Which got me thinking... maybe I should be reflecting on the past year.  The entire night I tried to reflect about the past year and I honestly couldn't think of any groundbreaking realizations or lessons I've learned.  I guess that means it has been a steady year.  Steady can be good.  Steady does not mean boring.  (This is my self-talk.)

I am disappointed in myself for not finding anything while forcing a reflection, because I really did search hard while shellac-ing, cooking, watching a few Friends episodes. 

I did get to open a few early birthday cards.  The card pictured above from my grandma finally taught me a lesson on my last day before I turned another year more wonderful.  Making someone feel like they're the center of your universe every once in a while is what IT's all about.  My grandma always does an amazing job at making me feel loved, unique, and honestly like her favorite person in the world.  If I can do that every once in a while, pass it on, pay it forward, whatever you want to call it, then I will feel like my time here is worthwhile.  And THAT's what it's all about.  

In honor of my birth week, I challenge you to make someone feel like you they're the center of the universe, even if it's just for a moment.  They'll hold on to that moment and you for their lifetime.  

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Dinner

My family is that type who has dinner together EVERY Sunday.  Therefore, we are incredibly close. Because we see each other often and love each other unconditionally like all families do (yeah right, I know we are an anomaly), many Sunday dinners go in the record books.  

Tonight my grandma brought over a dress she couldn’t get clean, but wants to wear to a wedding we have this fall.  There was ridiculously stupid conversation about the stain and what it could be and why it wasn’t coming out… but that is neither here nor there.  The important part of this dress is that she wore it to my cousin’s wedding three Septembers ago.  My cousin who she is not related to (on my dad’s side of the family), so I’m not really sure why she was invited.  I’m even shocked I was invited because my dad's family shows me THAT much love.

So: dress... Sara’s wedding… flashback.

This discussion about the stain on the dress that has been there for three years  (weird) reminded us all of the sh-tshow that was Sara’s wedding.  The sh-tshow had nothing to do with the bride or my dad’s side of the family at all, which is shocking.  This wedding brings up the time of my life we all can joke about now, but why no one sent me to a psychologist or rehab makes me wonder how much my family really cares about me.

My family picked me up to go to the wedding to keep me from drinking and driving.  My family picked me up from a football tailgate that I had been at all afternoon.  My family picked me up from a football tailgate that I had changed from my tailgating dress into a wedding guest dress in a port-a-potty.  My family picked me up by the railroad tracks downtown after I said goodbye to my friends and my EX who was visiting for the weekend, hence why I thought I should go to a tailgate before a wedding… I’m not sporty spice, people.  I am not a die-hard football fan.  I attend sporting events for the flipcup and chips and dip before the game.  I clearly attended the game to make him realize how fabulously cool I am, and how much better his life would be with me back in it.  (Even though I was the one who did the breaking...)

The wedding fiasco came up after dinner, opening up the gates for everyone to take their jabs at me and my life at that time.  Which again made me question why they did nothing to help me and instead sat back listening to my monthly credit card readings which consisted of: "bar, bar, restaurant, ice cream shop, bar, bar."  

All joking aside, it is moments like these, when I acknowledge that life doesn't usually go the way we plan, and that's okay.  These moments make me  thankful that I wasn't sent to rehab or a psychologist, that my friends and family didn't stop talking to me completely and instead stuck around to watch the entertaining show that ended up turning out beautifully thanks to the people with whom I spend my Sundays.    

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